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The Most Frequently Asked Questions About the New VGK Oil Free Stainless Steel Trolley

Besides contamination and maintenance issues, are there are any other benefits to the new trolley?

Tare weights that don’t change… by eliminating the wheel wear and consequent weight change on every trolley, the tare weights will remain extremely consistent. This has benefit to show the USDA Grain Inspection and Packers & Stockyards Administration people that compliance is now not that much of a problem, like it was with the old trolley

Identification systems…as the source identification issue increases in importance and more producers are using herd management software and need to complete the cycle of information to them with carcass data, more emphasis will be put on packers to individually identify carcasses. Attempts have been made to incorporate ID on existing trolleys and some are quite successful, but with the amount of maintenance required to the old trolley, it has been hard to justify an ID system. The new VGK, Inc. Oil Free SS trolley promises to be a reliable carrier of information systems for the future. Whether you invest at the time of the trolley purchase or retrofit it later, the potential for successful implementation of this investment has just increased.

Adhering to FSIS sanitation guidelines, HAACP regulations and the FDA Code of Regulations Title 21, Part 11, Subpart C–Equipment Sec 110.40 states  “(a)  All plant equipment and utensils shall be so designed and of such material and workmanship as to be adequately cleanable, and shall be properly maintained.  The design, construction, and use of equipment and utensils shall preclude the adulteration of food with lubricants, fuel, metal fragments, contaminated water, or any other contaminants…..”

Can I run this trolley in oil?
Yes, it is possible to run the new trolley in oil under your current circumstances; however, for the long term outlook of NO OIL in your plant, our advice is to not to. The reason this trolley was developed was so it wouldn’t have to run in oil.

What happens if I run the new trolley in my plant without changing anything?
As stated above, the VGK Oil Free SS trolley can run in oil, but our experience shows us that the current methods and thinking in plants revolves around the way the old trolley runs. With no change to your operating procedures, means you’re running the new trolley in oil, which means there could be some situational problems.


  • Wheels may not turn all the time and might skid… our experiences have shown us your rails are probably very grimy and greasy and even though a lot of this is suspended on the rail, the trolley oil contamination still presents itself. In essence, the new trolley wheel will clean the rail up as it moves through your plant. You can expect the wheel to come off the line extremely gummed up with all the grease and gunk from the rail.

  • If an old wheel skids on your line, you probably remove it right away by railing it out. The old wheel would develop a flat spot very quickly if left to run that way.

  • The new wheel will not develop those flat spots because of the superior material it is made from. However, this is not normal and steps should be taken to clean the rail.

  • Running the new trolley through the caustic cleaner will not harm the trolley, but it’s overkill, the caustic was designed to remove rust and that’s not a problem with the VGK SS trolley.

  • In summary, if you are trying to eliminate the trolley oil contamination, our advice is to do just that along with cleaning the rail extremely well, and eliminating the caustic cleaner.

How do you clean this trolley?
The first step is to eliminate your caustic cleaners, you don’t need to use them any longer. If you clean your rails well, the trolley just needs to be cleaned in a mild alkaline detergent. Contact your chemical supplier for recommendations on the type of cleaner to use or we can refer you to companies providing the correct cleaners. A key issue is cleaning your rails and following with a light application of orange oil to keep them from rusting. If the wheels come through dirty looking with excess oil and grease on them, you might need to clean the rails even better.

How long will the new wheel last?
Testing on our test track and with in plant results indicate you should expect about 10 times the wear compared to the old cast iron wheel. Depending on the frequency of your wheel change maintenance schedule, the total wear figure hinges on proper application and facilitation of the trolley in your plant.

How clean does the rail need to be?
For steel rail, if you clean the rail so it’s back to bare metal and then lightly apply an orange oil to keep it from rusting, this is the best environment if you choose to keep your existing rail. The best recommendation is to replace the old rail and put in our Radius Edge Stainless rail. Again, no oil will be required and this is the best match for our SS trolley.

Why is the new beef trolley heavier than the old one?
In designing a new trolley, we endeavored to create not only an Oil-Free, Reduced Maintenance trolley, but also a better trolley. Current straps tend to bend at the hide pullers and thus create a high maintenance issue. So with that in mind we determined to find at least a partial solution. Testing done at a major land grant university in Iowa helped formulate a better solution. The bar width and thickness has been increased from 3/8 x 1 3/4 to 1/2 x 2 to help the trolley frame “live” live longer before its starts to bend. We’re not saying you can’t bend a 1/2 x 2 frame, but it will increase the odds.

What does this trolley do to my HAACP plan?
It helps eliminate several potential violations of the plan, depending on how yours is written. Dealing with carcass contamination means you need an acceptable way of handling it. The new trolley will help you cover yourself from violation in these areas if implemented in the prescribed manner. Eliminating the caustic cleaner, a hazardous waste, will also benefit your HAACP plan.

What’s the best way to implement the trolley in my plant?
The best case scenario would be to replace your trolleys completely over a weekend to allow for rail cleanup and cleaning changes to be made. These changes could be planned ahead of time to allow for efficient implementation. Arrival of the trolleys in your plant would obviously be the first step. Scheduling the implementation so the cleaning solutions in your clean room could be accomplished are the other two goals that helps facilitate a successful transition to an Oil-Free environment. Ask for our complete Trolley Facilitation Guide or download one from our website. VGK, Inc is available to consult this implementation process.

How do I compare the investment in the new trolley versus the cost of maintaining the old one?
If you haven’t received a sample cost comparison from us, call us and request it or go to our website’s download page and download the ROI spreadsheet. This spreadsheet guideline will help you understand the line items that are involved. The figures are representative of an average, and you need to fill in the blanks for yourself to see exactly how much your old trolley is costing you per year, you can even calculate by the moth and compare it to the figure you’d pay if you were leasing the trolley. Once you compare these two figures, you’ll see how extremely affordable the new VGK trolley system is. In most cases, we’ve found you’ll pay about the same amount, and you’ll gain all the benefits of an Oil-Free environment.

What about stainless steel rail, will the new trolley work with it?
Absolutely, this is the best case scenario because then, the only rail maintenance would be a minor cleaning operation. The old trolley and SS rail is probably not a very good mix and would be hard to justify the expense of adding the SS rail if you continue to run in oil. But take away the oil and you’re creating the best case environment for the future.

Is the new wheel strong enough to hold up in the beef plants at the hide pulling stations?
The new wheel has been thoroughly tested and has been found to be more than adequate in strength in comparison to the old cast iron wheel.

How long does it take to get trolleys delivered to my plant?
This of course hinges on several things, the quantity you have ordered, the backlog of orders on hand and the availability of raw materials. Typically, small orders can be handled fairly quickly while larger orders would obviously require more time.

How will the trolleys ship?
Various options are available including common carrier, and it is possible if you have trucks running that can be used for trolley transportation, the costs are much lower. All trolleys ship FOB, Pella, Iowa, from the manufacturing plant. Standard packaging would be in 4 x 4 cargo containers with layers separated with corrugated cardboard. Special handling would be initiated for any ID systems that are installed at the factory.

In my pork plant, can I reuse my existing SS gambrels?
Absolutely, there are so many different designs of gambrels for pork slaughter, we’ve determined there is no need for the pork plants to reinvest in new gambrels. The facilitation of removing the gambrel from the old trolley and installing it on the new trolley is not difficult but does require time and planning. Call us for more details on how.

Need more details? Contact us

Verlan Van Dyke | 800-845-6551 |

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